GSR holds first close

The Mayfield-affiliated Chinese venture group GSR Ventures has held a first close on its debut fund.

China-focused GSR Ventures has held an interim close on its inaugural fund, GSR Ventures I LP. The firm, which has a strategic partnership with Silicon Valley’s Mayfield, amassed roughly $62 million (€52 million) in commitments, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing.

There was no target disclosed for the fund, although reportedly the firm is seeking between $75 million and $80 million in total commitments.

GSR is based in Beijing, and firm co-founder Richard Lim shares office space with Mayfield, giving the group a presence in Menlo Park as well.

The fledgling firm targets early-stage technology investments, looking to write equity cheques of between $500,000 and $3 million in size. GSR has already spearheaded investments in two Chinese semiconductor companies, SMIT and Mobert, and also led an investment in Chinese matchmaking outfit Heiyou. Mayfield took part in all three investments.

As a strategic investor in GSR, Mayfield is reportedly contributing as much as 10 percent of the capital in the firm’s debut fund. Other investors, according to the SEC documents, include fund-of-funds manager Horsley Bridge, Adveq Management (through its Private Equity Technology Partners IV fund) and Temasek (through its Dunearn Investments arm).

GSR was founded by entrepreneurs Richard Lim, Sunny Wu, James Ding and Robert Yung. Alex Pan serves as a venture partner at the firm, while Mayfield managing director Kevin Fong also serves as an advisor and sits on its investment committee.

The group has suffered one early defection when Yung left to become the chief technology officer at PMC-Sierra. However, he remains affiliated with the firm and on its website is listed as a technology partner.

GSR is raising the new vehicle without the aid of a placement agent.